Toronto Maple Leafs: Why trading Tyler Bozak makes no sense

TORONTO, CANADA - MARCH 07: Tyler Bozak /

There were rumours involving centre Tyler Bozak suggesting the Toronto Maple Leafs were looking to trade him to the New York Rangers, which makes no sense at this point.

For years, the Toronto Maple Leafs biggest problem was their lack of depth at centre, which is why the recent rumours surrounding Tyler Bozak being shopped around makes no sense.

In the same way, does the move even make sense for the New York Rangers, the team apparently interested in the 31-year old. It also did not help that Bozak’s condo listing was reported, further adding to the speculation, although it is a bit of a reach.

It was reported by Larry Brooks from the New York Post that the interest is not at a serious level for the Rangers. The reported trade would have sent Nick Holden to the Leafs with a draft pick for Bozak. The deal itself would not make sense for both teams for a couple of reasons.

For starters, the Rangers will be up to — or close to — the cap when the season starts, so unless the Leafs take on a contract, the salaries will not match up.

Brooks also suggested the team could buy out Marc Staal in order to make room for Bozak. However, unless the Leafs are getting a centre back in the deal or they are getting a better defenceman than Nick Holden. The Rangers have Mika Zibanejad, Kevin Hayes, J.T. Miller, David Desharnais, and potentially Lias Andersson, if he stays in North America.

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This is why trading Bozak does not make sense for the Leafs; the Rangers are in a good position down the middle. The Leafs have one through four taken care of but their lack of depth is where they could get into some trouble.

As it stands, Eric Fehr and Ben Smith would be asked to step in if there was an injury. That is not something that the Leafs would want to entertain over the course of a season.

The only way Bozak gets moved is if the team wants to give William Nylander an opportunity to play at centre. However, Mike Babcock said he wants Nylander to play on the wing this season. If the team wants Nylander to make the transition, it would be better for it to come next season when Bozak’s contract it up. Then again, if the Leafs decide to re-sign Bozak to an extension, Nylander may end up staying on the wing.

Given Bozak’s injury history, it would probably work out better for Nylander to fill in for Bozak if he were to miss time. The Regina native did play in 78 games last season after playing only 57 in 2015-16. Bozak had a career-high in points with 55 last season playing on a line with Mitch Marner and James van Riemsdyk.

With the position the Leafs are in right now, it does not make sense to move Bozak — even for a defenceman — because while teams can always stand to improve their blue line, every team covets centres because it is tough to replace good ones like Bozak.

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Would it be the right move to trade Bozak to upgrade the blueline or should the Toronto Maple Leafs keep him around? Let us know in the comments.